For nearly half of consumers, chips are part of their snacking routine. While people worked from home during the pandemic, the snacking experience saw growth. Chip consumption has cemented itself in grocery habits, with 95% of consumers indicating they have eaten potato or tortilla chips in the past 3 months 1. Even as inflation rises, consumers are willing to stick with the salty snack but are keeping in mind factors such as health and new varieties of textures and flavors. Though the most important factor affecting consumers’ purchases is price. To maintain consumer loyalty, brands will need to foster a sense of worth by introducing new flavor offerings and considering healthier alternatives in ingredients and formulation.
A snack favorite, consumers want to see more from chips. Broadening chip options and behavior will be effective in diversifying consumer minds. 50% of US adults say they stick to their preferred flavor.1 However, younger consumers are more open to exploring new flavors, while older consumers begin to focus on health and nutrition in their chip habits.
Another key is the differentiation in social consumption of potato and tortilla chip snacking, one being more of an individual experience and the other being shared. Changing up the consumption occasion can prompt consumers to include chips in their meals. Consumers find innovation and consideration in flavor, health, and meal introductions attractive.
IN THE MARKET
Prior to the pandemic, chip sales remained constant. The increase in hybrid work has made it possible for employees to eat home-cooked meals and indulge in frequent snacking, leading to the upward growth of chip sales. Also, high pricing as a result of inflation has been one of the most influential growth factors.
Even with dining becoming more commonplace, consumer spending habits remain strict. As consumers grow interested in healthier options, brands will need to adapt to encourage engagement. Introducing healthy ingredients and natural attributes in chips will be influential Subsequently, as inflation drops, chip sales will slow. Adapting to the market by focusing on health, sustainability, and flavor innovation will be pivotal in retaining audiences.
GEN Z – ADVENTUROUS IN TASTE
Would like to see more spicy and regionally inspired flavors1
Gen Z remains the most influential group in flavor exploration. These avid snackers seek variety and are willing to expand their pallet. Though as Gen-Z grows, their attitudes toward chips will change.
MILLENNIALS – HEALTH CONSCIOUS
Millennials equate natural with healthy. While health concerns become a priority, they are also less willing to give up taste for BFY formulations.1 Still, as some become parents, they tend to seek out options that are healthy and contain natural ingredients.
1 Kantar Profiles/Mintel, November 2022
2 Kantar Profiles/Mintel, October 2021